FAQ

Work Permits

Should all applications to recruit foreign professionals to work in Taiwan be submitted to the Council of Labor Affairs or Ministry of Education?

This regulation is being revised at the moment, but all the applications to this program will be submitted to the Ministry of Education. The only exceptions are applications to recruit foreign seamen, which should be made to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, and applications by companies located in a Science-based Industrial Park to recruit foreign specialist technical personnel (or to recruit managers, in the case of Overseas Chinese or foreign-invested companies), which should be made to the Science-based Industrial Park Administration.

What laws and regulations govern the recruitment of foreign professionals to work in Taiwan, and what other information should companies applying to recruit foreign professionals obtain before submitting their application? Where can these laws and regulations be accessed?

The relevant laws and regulations include the Employment Service Act, the Regulations on the Permission and Administration of the Employment of Foreign Workers, and the qualifications and approval standards laid down in Items 1 – 6 of Paragraph 1, Article 46 of the Employment Service Act. These laws and regulations can be found on the website of the Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training,
Council of Labor Affairs in the “Foreign Workers for Special Professions or Technical Assignments” section of the website.(These regulations are being revised at the moment. Once they are settled, the above answer will be updated. 2018.4.10)

What is the maximum length of time for which a work permit can be issued for a foreign professional coming to work in Taiwan? Is there any restriction on the number of times that a work permit can be extended?

According to the provisions of the Employment Service Act, work permits for foreign professionals can be issued for a maximum period of three years. An application to have the work permit extended may be made prior to the expiry of the work permit; there is no restriction on the number of extensions that may be granted.

What are the legal requirements regarding the education and work experience of foreign professionals who are recruited to work in Taiwan?

Where a foreigner is recruited to undertake professional or technical work in Taiwan , they must conform to one of the following sets of requirements:

  1. The foreigner holds a professional license or certificate obtained in accordance with the requirements of the regulations governing professional exa min ations for professional and technical personnel.
  2. The foreigner either holds a Master’s degree or Ph.D. in a relevant field, or holds a bachelor’s degree in a related field and also has at least two years’ relevant work experience.
  3. The foreigner has been assigned to work in Taiwan by a multinational corporation after working for the multinational corporation in question for at least one year.
  4. The foreigner has undergone specialist training (or is self-taught), has at least five years of relevant work experience, and has displayed either innovativeness or outstanding performance.
What are the procedures for applying for a work permit when a foreigner is recruited to come and work in Taiwan? What procedures must be gone through to secure entry to Taiwan?

When a foreigner is recruited to come and work in Taiwan, they should first sign a contract of employment with their new employer. The employer must then prepare the necessary documents and submit an application for a work permit to the
Ministry of Education before the foreigner can come to Taiwan to begin work. If the employer’s application for a work permit is approved by the
Ministry of Education, the foreigner in question should take the work permit issued by the
Ministry of Education to the Taiwan representative office in the country in which they are residing or to the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to obtain a Resident Visa . After arriving in Taiwan , the foreigner must apply to the foreign affairs department of the local police in the county or city in which they are residing for an Alien Resident Certificate.

What documents is a foreigner required to provide when applying for a work permit to come and work in Taiwan?

When a foreigner is recruited to come and work in Taiwan, the application for a work permit must be made by the foreigner’s employer. The foreigner should provide evidences of their education and work experience (along with evidences of any outstanding performance, innovativeness, or specialist training) to enable their employer to make the application for a work permit. The evidences of work experience should be issued by the foreigner’s previous employers.

Can part-time work undertaken while the foreigner was a student be listed as work experience?

The determination of work experience is based on the work that the foreigner has undertaken since completing their studies. Part-time work performed while still a student will not be counted when determining the number of years of work experience that the foreigner has.

When applying for a work permit, can documents be submitted in form of photocopies, or must the originals be provided? Should photocopies be notarized or certified?

While the health inspection certificate must be an original, photocopies are acceptable for all the other documents that must be submitted when applying for a work permit. The Ministry of Education now stipulates that documents issued in certain countries must be certified by the Taiwan representative office in that country (a list of countries for which this procedure is necessary can be found on the Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training website). For documents issued in other countries, in certain circumstances the Ministry of Education may require the certification of documents by the Taiwan representative office in the country in question.

Are foreigners recruited to work in Taiwan required to provide a health inspection certificate. What are the regulations governing this?

Currently, only foreigners employed to teach in private language schools are required to provide a health inspection certificate. The certificate must have been issued within the last three months by either an approved overseas hospital or one of the hospitals in Taiwan designated for this purpose by the Department of Health. Foreign professionals recruited to perform other types of work are not required to provide health inspection certificates.

What procedures must a foreign professional go through to obtain a visa and Alien Resident Certificate (ARC)?

After a foreign professional has received the work permit issued by theMinistry of Education, if the foreigner is overseas at the time, they should go to the Taiwan representative office in the country in which they are residing to apply for a work visa. If the foreigner is in Taiwan when they receive the work permit, they should go to the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs to apply for the work visa. Once the visa has been issued, after arriving in Taiwan (if the foreigner is not already in Taiwan) the foreigner must go to the foreign affairs department of the local police in the county, city or metropolis where they are residing to apply for an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC).

What exactly is the meaning of the requirement that “the foreigner has been assigned to work in Taiwan by a multinational corporation after working for the multinational corporation in question for at least one year"?

The definition of “multinational corporation” can be found in Article 4 of the Permit Guidelines Governing the Entry to Taiwan of the People of the Mainland Area Invited by a Multinational Corporation to Conduct Commercial Activities. To conform to this requirement, a foreigner must have assigned to work at the Taiwan branch or subsidiary of a multinational corporation after working for the multinational corporation in question in another country or countries for a period of at least one year.

How can residents of Hong Kong or Macau apply for a work permit?

The term “residents of Hong Kong or Macau” is used to refer to individuals who hold the right of permanent residency in Hong Kong or Macau and who do not hold a British Overseas Passport or any other travel document apart from a Hong Kong or Macau passport; it includes residents of Macau who hold a Portuguese passport that was obtained after the end of Portuguese rule in Macau. Where residents of Hong Kong and Macau are recruited to work in Taiwan, the regulations applying to them shall be the same as those applying to other foreigners. In the case of residents of Hong Kong or Macau who obtained “Overseas Chinese” status prior to the end of British rule (in Hong Kong) or Portuguese rule (in Macau), or the spouse or chi ldren of a Hong Kong or Macau resident holding “Overseas Chinese” status who are themselves eligible to apply for Taiwan ROC citizenship, the application for a work permit should be submitted to the Foreign Workers Affairs Division of the Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training, in accordance with the provisions of the Regulations Governing the Recruitment and Management of Residents of Hong Kong and Macau Holding “Overseas Chinese” Status. Those residents of Hong Kong and Macau who do not conform to the qualifications listed above shall be deemed to be residents of the Mainland China region; residents of the Mainland China region are currently not permitted to work in Taiwan.

If a foreign professional wishes to change their employer while working in Taiwan, how should they go about doing this?

Once the foreign professional’s original employer has applied to the Ministry of Education to have their work permit cancelled, the new employer must submit an application for a new work permit. If the original employer has not applied to have the original work permit cancelled, the new employer must submit documentary evidence confirming that the foreign professional has left their previous position.

Are foreigners eligible to participate in the National Health Insurance system while working in Taiwan?

Once the application for a work permit submitted by the foreigner’s employer has been approved by the Ministry of Education, applications for participation in the Labor Insurance system and National Health Insurance system may then be submitted to the Bureau of Labor Insurance and the Bureau of National Health Insurance; applicants will need to present the work permit approval letter issued by the Ministry of education, and the Alien Resident Certificate (ARC).

If a foreigner is married to a citizen of Taiwan ROC who is registered (in the household registration system) as resident in Taiwan, does the foreigner need to apply for a work permit to work in Taiwan?

Article 48 of the Employment Service Law stipulates that, if a foreigner is married to a citizen of Taiwan ROC who is registered (in the household registration system) as resident in Taiwan, and if the foreigner in question has been granted the right of residency in Taiwan, then the foreigner can work in Taiwan without being required to apply for a work permit.

Are individuals holding dual nationality (i.e. Taiwan ROC nationality and the nationality of another country) required to apply for a work permit to be able to work in Taiwan?

Article 79 of the Employment Service Law stipulates that individual who hold both Taiwan ROC nationality and the nationality of another country but who are not registered (in the household registration system) as resident in Taiwan are required to apply for a work permit to be able to work in Taiwan; the regulations applying to other foreigners also apply to these individuals.

Can citizens who hold Taiwan ROC nationality but who are not registered (in the household registration system) as resident in Taiwan apply for a work permit?

Article 79 of the Employment Service Law stipulates that individuals who hold Taiwan ROC nationality but who are not registered (in the household registration system) as resident in Taiwan are not required to apply for work permits. However, to be able to reside in Taiwan , such individuals are still required to apply to the Immigration Office of the National Policy Agency for a resident visa.

If an individual who was born in the Mainland China region but who has since obtained the nationality of another country is recruited to work in Taiwan, how does such an individual go about applying for a work permit?

An individual who was born in the Mainland China region but who has since obtained the nationality of another country may apply for a work permit to work in Taiwan through the same procedures that apply to other foreigners provided that the individual has been living outside the Mainland China region for at least four years.

If an individual who was born in the Mainland China region and has been living outside the Mainland China region, but who has not yet obtained the nationality of another country, is recruited to work in Taiwan, how can such an individual go about applying for a work permit?

An individual who was born in the Mainland China region but who has since obtained the nationality of another country may apply for a work permit to work in Taiwan through the same procedures that apply to other foreigners provided that the individual has been living outside the Mainland China region for at least four years.

Does an individual who holds "Overseas Chinese" status and who has been recruited to work in Taiwan need to apply for a work permit?

An individual who holds “Overseas Chinese” status but who has not obtained Taiwan ROC nationality is still classed as a foreigner, and must apply for a work permit in accordance with the same regulations that apply to other foreigners.

When a foreigner comes to work in Taiwan, are their dependents permitted to come and reside in Taiwan with them? Are their dependents permitted to work in Taiwan?

If a foreigner professional comes to work in Taiwan, their dependents may apply for residency on the grounds of “joining relatives”. To obtain residency in this manner, the foreigner’s children must be less than 20 years old. If a foreign professional’s dependents wish to work in Taiwan , they must apply for a work permit in accordance with the provisions of the Employment Service Act governing foreign professionals.

If a foreigner's parents hold Taiwan ROC nationality, but the foreigner does not, can the foreigner apply for a work permit on the grounds of "joining relatives"?

If a foreigner is under 20 years of age, and has received permission from the government to reside with blood relatives who are registered (in the household registration system) as residents of Taiwan, the foreigner can apply for a work permit in accordance with the provisions of Article 51 of the Employment Service Law.

Is there a standard contract for returning FETs?

Do you mean any procedure for ending this program so that you can return to America? No, FETs can just leave.

Can my physical and other paperwork be completed before I leave at the end of this semester?

Yes, you can complete the files in Taiwan. You may ask your school for help.

When would I sign my new contract?

Basically, if you want to stay in the same school, your school should help you extend your work permit before the date of expiration of the employment term. If you want to teach in another school, you have to fill in the pledge form (MOE will make the survey) 3 months before the expiration date. I’m not sure the specific date for the term of employment so far.

Do you know when they should start renewal process? If I will stay the same school next year, can I teach for another school in another city after next year?

The renewal process is around three months (that is April) before the expiration date of the term of employment. If you want to teach for another school in another city after next year, you will have to fill in the pledge form in Appendix D of the contract. The time is also around three months before the expiration date of the term of employment. You may refer to Article 19.2 in the contract for the details.

At the in service, it was asked if it was possible to stay on a tourist visa after our ARC expires (which means when our ARC is expired and we want to stay in Taiwan, could we apply tourist visa to stay here?). How I would do that, say need to leave and come back, apply process, so on? would I have to leave the country for a day or two in between my ARC expiring and the tourist visa?

Basically, FETs should leave Taiwan before the ARC expires. You can visit Taiwan for  30 days with visa-exempt entry. Or if you only need less than 15 weeks stay in Taiwan, you can apply the date extension in National Immigration Agency.

Is there a standard contract for my second year teaching for the MOE. Would I have the same assistance toward renting an apartment or dormitory?

The contract of the second year teaching is the almost the same with the first school year. According to the Contract 4.4, the school also needs to provide a rent allowance. You may refer to the contract Article 4.4.

All first year FETs started working August 8 or 9 and have an 11 month contract. Since I may not be attending the orientation in August and school does not start until late August or early September, when would my second year contract start and end? I know you don't have specific dates yet, but is there a general idea of when second or third year teachers would start? Would it also be for 11 months?

The second year start and end date is based on the contract between you and the school. It usually starts from July to then next June. (Example: 2012 July 7 to 2013 June 6). The contract will also for 11 months.

My school would like an answer next week. It sounds like the pledge form and survey will not be available until sometime in March or April. How much time do I really have before I need to make my decision?

Generally, the pledge form to continue the FETs project will be investigated in March. You need to make a decision before April.

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